Anakpawis chairman Randall "Ka Randy" Echanis was one of the two stabbing victims in Quezon City on Monday, August 10, the group's legal counsel Luchi Perez confirmed to Rappler.
"Manuel is Randall Echanis," Perez told Rappler in a text message.
The "Manuel" that Perez referred to was Manuel Santiago, the name on one of the identification cards found by the police in the crime scene. Cruz did not explain why Echanis was using a different name.
Echanis was known as an agrarian reform advocate. He was credited for his work in helping craft the the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) earlier reported that the only sensational case in their area that took place the same time as Echanis' murder was the stabbing incident that killed 2 men in Novaliches.
However, the QCPD insisted that none of the victims was Echanis, saying that they were a certain Manuel Santiago and a certain Louie Tagapia. Manuel Santiago was Echanis after all.
Perez said there has been no correction made with regards to the identity of Louie Tagapia.
Initial investigation showed that at 1:35 am on Monday, a witness heard a "loud noise" from the 2nd floor of No. 14 Petronia Street in Barangay Novaliches, Quezon City. The witness went to check the source of the noise and found the bodies of Echanis and Tagapia.
Without citing a source, police said in their report that around 5 people could have killed Echanis and Tagapia.
The SOCO team recovered identification cards, a Dell Laptop, a small notebook, 2 USBs and P400 cash.
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.